Kelly Blackmore-Lee
Paul Stafford

Member Article

Women take up central positions in UK franchise sector

The British Franchise Association (BFA) has announced the appointment of Kelly Blackmore-Lee in the role of head of compliance, overseeing best practice for hundreds of the UK’s franchise businesses. She becomes the second woman to hold one of the top three jobs in the UK franchise sector, joining head of operations Pip Wilkins in the BFA’s senior management team alongside director general Brian Smart.

Blackmore-Lee continues the trend of women flying high in the franchise industry: 38 per cent of franchisees entering the sector as supported small business owners are female, a proportion which continues to grow. Many brands using the franchise model are also run by successful businesswomen, ranging from children’s classes to numerous automotive industry companies.

The holder of bachelors and masters degrees in law, Blackmore-Lee takes on a position of central responsibility for the UK’s accredited franchise sector; she will manage the trade association’s finance function as well as championing its quality standards and ethics work upon incumbent Andrew Quail’s retirement in April 2014, after 8 years.

Blackmore-Lee spent several years with kitchen retailer Dream Doors as franchise and operations director, and more recently worked as consultant franchise director with Shakeaway, with a focus on international expansion in the US and Middle East. She has also previously been elected as a member of the BFA’s board of directors, including a stint as deputy chair. This followed periods as chair of the Association’s Regional Committee and of its Finance & General Purposes Committee, as well as two years serving as Regional Chair for the South West.

Commenting on her appointment, Blackmore-Lee said: “I am honoured to take up this position with the BFA. I’m passionate about upholding standards and ethics in franchising and can think of no better way than to take on this vital role. “Andrew will be hugely missed by everyone associated with the BFA community, having been such a strong guardian of compliance for several years. But I believe my combination of legal and franchising experience gives me a strong background with which to take on the job, and I’m delighted to be initially working alongside Andrew, learning from his invaluable expertise.”

Brian Smart added: “The appointment of Kelly to the senior management team offers me and the board of directors a strong and energetic team to take on the essential standards work that Andrew Quail will be retiring from all too shortly.” The BFA is capitalising on the strong performance of women in the franchise sector by running its inaugural Women Working Well conference on 12 November. See www.thebfa.org/www2013 for more details.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Paul Stafford .

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